I thought I’d start a page of suppliers, useful materials and resources I use in my cooking or love to visit. If it’s of any help to anyone, then I am very pleased. If not, at least it’ll serve me as my own quick guide! Please let me know if you have anywhere that you really love that you think I’d find useful to add or others would like to try 🙂
Buying small vs big names
Though I prefer to buy from specialist UK suppliers (and as local as possible) it’s not always financially or conveniently viable. The two main factors that influence where I shop are the same for most people: budget limitations and lack of time.
When you work (I’m not including short hours part time) it can be impossible to do more than a cursory local shop. One or two shops near to home and close together on a Saturday is fine – having to traipse from shop to shop is not. Though local often means better quality or a better range, sometimes this has to be sacrificed for affordable prices and convenience. For instance, I buy almost all my flours online at places which also sell equipment, but that equipment can be at high prices (for instance I bought a banneton via Amazon for much, much less than the price at the specialist shop I would have prefered to go to).
Like most people I buy the bulk of my food from supermarkets: again convenience and price, though I agree neither are always a given there. It’s all very well people pushing campaigns to buy local and support local business, but it’s only the time and cash-rich in society that can do this with any repeat frequency no matter how much I agree in principal. If I can, I will buy from small shops. Certain specialist, rare, handmade or (perversely) very local or imported foods and equipment can only be found with small suppliers, of couse. I buy from delis, farmers markets or online specialists as an occasional treat or just one or two items I ‘need’ at a time and no more. Otherwise it’s expensive and I can only visit infrequently anyway (it makes a visit more of a treat too). I try to do what’s right all round and strike a balance.
I aim to keep this updated as much as possible – latest update April 2018.
I want to make it very clear that no supplier or location has recompensed me in any way for this – or even asked to be included. It’s completely uninfluenced and just genuinely the places I go to (some more frequently than others!).
To save a bit of money most sites have a minimum spend at which point P&P is free thereafter. This was the genius idea of my friend @Steph_Club. You could group together with one or more baking friends and purchase all that you want in the same order to save quite a bit of money. For Bakery Bits the minimum spend is high: £75 but if you were buying equipment it could work. For Shipton Mill it’s more achieveable: £30 min spend up to 100kg in weight (two people can quite easily spend £15 each on stocking up with flours). For Sous Chef the minimum order for ordinary delivery is £35. Always worth checking out.
I’ve primarily listed shops and places that are close to where I live: so Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the rest of the East Midlands. I’ve also added a few places that are not local to me but are areas I know very well (North Norfolk and St Ives) and where I head to when I am there.
Ingredients in bold are particular favourite items.
Shipton Mill – best range going and my first port of call for flour. I have used many of the flour types but the following I have bought most often: Finest Bakers White No. 1, Organic Khorasan, Swiss Dark, Organic Dark Rye, Organic Emmer. I have also bought from here organic fresh yeast, panibois wooden baking moulds and liners from here. You can save by uploading a recipe to their site, doing so will mean you get sent a discount code.
Bakery Bits – just does everything any level of baker would need. I have had from here: flexible scraper, malted grains, nuttimalt, Lammas Fayre Roman Blend White Spelt, Lammas Fayre Medieval Blend Beremancorn, Lammas Fayre Victorian Blend, Redbournbury Mill Organic Unbleached White, Organic Farro Bianco, candied orange and rainbox mixes, pearl sugar, bannetons and grignettes.
Sous Chef – just about all the specialist ingredients and equipment you can image but can’t find anywhere else. Basically a foodie treasure trove. I’ve bought a random array of things from here in the past including such diverse things as squid ink sachets, fettucini rolling pin, unusal stocks, natural fruit flavourings and salts. It could easily get expensive but there are also some complete bargains on here.
Melbury & Appleton – I go here for specialist Italian ingredients that I can’t get locally, though it’s not only Italian foods that are stocked and there’s a huge array of foods. I particularly like that you can browse by cuisine: I find this most useful. I most often stock up on 00 and semola flour from here. It does have a minimum order of £10.
Real Foods – fabulous supplies for dried, fresh, unusal ingredients. I’ve bought a lot of dried fruits, nuts and seeds from here but that’s a tiny proportion of what they do. It’s a great resource for veggie, fairtrade, gluten free and other diets etc produce. They have two stores in Edinburgh.
Healthy Supplies – another great place for dried fruits, nuts and seeds etc and they also sell flours, baking ingredients and a lot more. A great range of fruit powders from which I’ve bought quite a lot! Definitely worth a look through.
Delicatessens, Bakeries, Butchers and Farm Shops
Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop, Chatsworth, Derbyshire – meats and charcuterie from the estate, a fish counter, deli, larder suppliers, patisserie, wines and beers and highly knowledgeable staff. Plus such a beautiful location: have a day out, go to the farm shop then have much and a pint in the gorgeous (OK, a tad pricey) Devonshire Arms pub in sleepy Baslow. I’m not sorry for my gushing tourism spiel for the area.
Delilah Fine Foods, Victoria Street, Nottingham– what a treat this place is and such a lovely building they’re in now too! Cheeses, charcuterie, preserves, larder goods and a great place for lunch. I can’t walk out without a bag full of things – oops.
Fresh Basil Deli and Eaterie, Strutt Street, Belper, Derbyshire – small but perfectly formed deli and cafe. Also sells a lovely range of baskets and wicker suppliers as well as cheeses, meats and larder goods.
Croots Farm Shop, Wirksworth Road, Duffield, Derbyshire – cheeses, deli foods, homemade pies, greengrocery, baked and larder goods, beers and wines and a fish counter (stocked Thursdays) and a little gift shop and cafe. They rear some cows and sheep themselves and otherwise source locally.
Jerry Howarth Pork Butchers, High Stret, Belper, Derbyshire – no website. If you’re in Belper it’s worth a look but literally does just pork supplies though I noticed it sometimes has carried venison sausages, so fittingly, telling a few porkies!! (Sorry!). Fresh meats, pies etc and charcuterie at reasonable prices.
Anderson’s Fine Foods, Blind Lane, Breaston and Market Place, Long Eaton, Derbyshire – no website – these two shops (Breaston is largest and the original) have a little cute tea room and a small but great range of deli items, fresh breads, cakes and larder goods.
G W Dundas Butchers, Main Street, Breaston and Victoria Road, Draycott Derbyshire – great local artisan butchers with own prepared sausages etc and occasionally some game.
The Loaf, School Lane, Crich, Derbyshire – a bakery, deli and caff run by Andrew Auld and Roger Bode. Andrew’s recipe for spelt sourdough appears in the Slow Dough cookbook by the Real Bread Campaign. A little gem – go visit if you’re in the area. Bread from this bakery is sold in other delis and farmers markets across Derbyshire. Making it even cuter, certain breads are baked on specific weekdays – check the website for details. They even run bread making courses.
Manna Deli, Market Place, Wirksworth – a small but perfectly formed deli.
The Cheddar Gorge, Dig Street, Ashbourne – a cracking deli and, as you’d expect from the name, really specialises in cheeses but has larder supplies, cakes, meats and pies etc. Also if you’ve never been, Ashbourne is a seriously cute village. It’s quite ‘upmarket’ for a Derbyshire village – it’s got a Waitrose for a start! Ooo, posh. Also close to the beautiful, beautiful Dovedale area and the start of the Tissington Trail but that’s digressing somewhat.
Out of this world, Villa Street, Beeston, Nottinghamshire – a great shop with a huge range of organic, free from and natural produce. Has some organic greengrocery and refrigerated items and a massive stock of grocery and health products. I don’t go in because I have allergies or health conditions but because it’s just a great range, including a variety of flours and dried fruits.
Other UK suppliers outside of the East Midlands (more to come soon!)
The Allotment Deli, Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall – specialising in local produce and goods, this is a cute little deli. Has local fruit and veg enticingly placed outside and sells larder goods, baked treats (savoury and sweet), cheeses, olives etc. I think I go in this everyday when we stay in St Ives on hols.
St Ives Bakery, Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall – all sorts of mouthwatering artisan loaves from a plain old white to sourdough to kamut with oatflakes. Boasts a mouthwatering display of giant meringues and cakes in the window.
Pengenna, High Street, St Ives, Cornwall (they’re also in Tintagel and Bude) – best pasties and scones. Ever. Open early for breakfast breads. They post…!
Arthur Howell, Staithe Street, Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk – gosh I remember going in the butcher’s shop as a toddler with my mum and it’s as good as ever it was. The meat is all local and they have their own abbatoir so are involved at all stages in the process. They sell both raw and cooked meats and have a smokehouse in Binham. They sell a lot of game including rabbit, quail, venison and geese and their sausages are amazing. They do seem to rule half the main road in Wells (Staithe Street) but that’s no complaint as this includes a lovely deli, a fishmongers (taking fish from Frary’s fishing company, which is also Wells based) and the local bakery.
Frary’s seafood stall, The Quay, Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk – a tiny little permanent stall on the quay. Don’t be fooled that it looks like it’s just turned up there – Frary’s is a long established fishing firm. Fresh wet fish to little eat-now pots of shrimp and cockles.
Cookie’s Crab Shop, Salthouse, Norfolk – this should be a nationally-revered institution! It’s never not been there (way before me) and I remember our family driving all the way to Salthouse from Wells just to pick up fish for dinner. It does sell little sandwiches and some meals and has some benches overlooking the marshes (and the cows). What’s typical is ringing up to reserve what you want (especially stuff like lobster or crabs) as it’s so popular and if you snooze you lose.